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Is Email Marketing OUT in 2010?

Dr. Mani - Internet Marketing
Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian,
Heart surgeon and social entrepreneur predicts,

“Email is OUT 2010”

I joined the discussion on Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian’s blog quite late, but since I gave it some thought, I decided to share my response with you.

In mid November last year Internet infopreneur, author and social entrepreneur Dr. Mani published a list with his predictions about what’s IN and what’s OUT in 2010 (↑).

The first item on his list:

Email Is OUT, Social Media Is IN

I am buying the second part of his statement immediately, but “Email OUT?”

I had to think about it a couple of seconds longer than usual, since a couple of respectable experts like Chris Brogan (↑), Warren Whitlock (↑), and Willie Crawford (↑) already had left comments on Dr. Mani’s blog post.

Here is what I have replied with.

I don’t think email is OUT in 2010.

I rather would say, we have to use and nurture email marketing differently than in the past.

A strong email list is still an asset, like your website. I hope you have purchased your own domain.

Who owns — and most importantly who has jurisdiction so to speak over — your social media profile?

The inherent benefit of email is it’s independence from any given email marketing service provider on the sender side. Maybe the Google Wave protocol will push email type communication into this century and at a same time allow a merger with social media. I am looking forward to it. Maybe in 2011, 2012.

You would be crazy to stop building an email list. But on the same token you would be crazy not building your social media presence.

In case you are sitting on the fence and don’t know whether you should throw the topic email marketing into the IN or the OUT bucket, let us revisit why businesses and marketers are complaining.

You hear two main reasons:
  1. Low open and response rates resulting in less sales.
  2. Email deliverability problems.

Now ask yourself or your team a couple of questions and reevaluate the response rate issue. For sure you will find a couple of areas where you can improve.
  • Is my aging email list outgrowing my content, my offers?

  • Do my offers mature in-sync with my subscribers?

  • Am I (trying to) milk my members or am I graduating them?

  • Does my offer evolve over time and stay fresh and state-of-the-art that it appeals to new subscribers as well.

  • And now probably the most important question:

    Am I sending brochures, pitches,… or am I building a relationship with that person who reads my email message?

    (Hint: Even outside of internet marketing consumers already can smell automated follow-up messages.)

One kind of email marketing campaigns did especially well in 2009. They are called customer reactivation campaigns.

Maybe your email marketing activities need that sort of a botox treatment. (LoL)

Another observation in 2009 was that “mailing dead trees” in the form of letters and postcards can outperform internet classics like PPC, email, or banners even in these days and age. I just mention that to counter the many experts who have proclaimed direct mail will be dead in a couple of years. That was,… well, a couple of years ago. (Another LoL)

Lots of issues to think about, aren’t they.

Don’t dump your opt-in box yet.
I hope you have any.

Any comments?
What do you think?

John W. Furst


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Dr.Mani on :


Nice post, John. Agreed, evolving email marketing technique is necessary as one's list matures. In my post, one reason behind the vote for email as being "Out" was the lack of reliability in DELIVERY to the subscriber's inbox.

If barely 1 in 5 people who double-optin to a list even GET your message in their inbox past filters, then the other things you do become kind of moot.

I like the practical suggestions you make about furthering engagement with one's audience, and agree too that reactivation is effective when done right.

All success


@drmani on Twitter

John W. Furst on :


I enjoyed your discussion as well and certainly want to encourage readers to check out your entire post.

Deliverability, spam, and getting through the clutter is a big pain point for sure.

Thanks for the visit. :-)

Take care.

Ujjwal Trivedi @ UVTimes on :


> Am I (trying to) milk my members or am I graduating them?

is the single most important question. It should be the basic of all strategies that we create for our business.

Nice pointers John- it was really an important discussion.

John W. Furst on :



Email Marketing is not just, "Press the send button," and make a lot of money. If you overdo it people will leave quickly or get unresponsive.

And of course one needs to segment. One, fits all list doesn't work that well in the long run.

Appreciate your comment.


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